Monday, December 6, 2010

An Inside Look at the FDA and the Regulation of Food

Last Thursday, for the last class session of our Food Law & Policy class, we were delighted to welcome attorney Jason Saspin.  Jason is Of Counsel with the Polsinelli Shughart law firm, officed in Denver Colorado.  He serves as a member of the firm's Life Sciences group, leading its FDA practice.

Formerly Associate Chief Counsel in the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, D.C., Jason advised the FDA in enforcement actions, negotiated with the affected industry, provided technical assistance on pending legislation, assisted in litigation and audits, and served as counsel to the Deputy Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Regulatory Affairs (the enforcement arm of the FDA).

While at the FDA, Jason participated in several significant regulatory actions including the agency's promulgation of rules and guidance regarding fresh produce and nutritional labeling and the expansion of cooperation between federal and state regulatory authorities in enforcement and regulatory actions. 

Before joining the FDA, Jason served as a Maryland Assistant Attorney General, representing and advising the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Maryland Health Care Commission and the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission.

Jason is a co-author of the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act and author of publications on public health law and preparedness, international trade and health, litigation and public health, vaccine policy, and SARS.  A former Assistant Scientist in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, he served as faculty in Johns Hopkins' Center for Public Health Preparedness and Centers for Environmental Health Tracking and Practice and in the Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities' Center for Law and the Public’s Health.  He is a graduate of Williams College, the University of Michigan Law School and Johns Hopkins University.

He delivered a fascinating presentation on the "personality" of the FDA as a federal agency.

We were also delighted to welcome two distinguished guests to the class from Wal-Mart, Don Wiseman, Associate General Counsel, and Mike Sostrin Sr. Manager-Food Safety Recalls.  We enjoyed their participation in the class and hope to have them back with us again next semester to provide the retail perspective to the important food law issues that we discuss.  Pictured left are Mike and Don talking to LL.M. candidate, Kerri Boling after the class.

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